This Isn't A Library: New, Notable Releases Into Comics' Direct Market
Here are the books that make an impression on me staring at this week's no-doubt largely accurate list of books shipping from Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. to comic book and hobby shops across North America.
I might not buy all of the works listed here. I might not buy any. You never know. I'd sure look at the following, though.
MAR181872 COMMUNIST MANIFESTO SC GN $19.99
I have a significant level of curiosity about this book, which friends of mine have seen in various stages of production. It's certainly an interesting match of cartoonist and subject matter, an there's an underlying no-fucks quality to all the top UK newspaper cartoonists that might be intriguing to see in play.
FEB180483 COIN OP COMICS ANTHOLOGY HC 1997-2017 $29.99
This is the book of this week that feels absolutely out of left field, a collection of Peter and Maria Hoey, stretching back to the BLAB! days. I'm game, and am grateful for its existence beyond my personal interest.
JAN181333 MOUSE GUARD HC VOL 03 BLACK AXE B&W ED $99.99
I'm not sure where this fits in with the various printings of Mouse Guard out there, but I'm happy to see different variations of the work put out into the market. I will always think that these comics are a bit undervalued in their marketplace and one path out of that position is working in as many formats as can be sold..
MAR181255 LUMBERJANES #50 $4.99 MAR180843 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 BLANK VAR LEG $5.99 MAR180042 INCOGNEGRO RENAISSANCE #4 (OF 5) (MR) $3.99 MAR188485 TERRIFICS #1 2ND PTG $2.99 MAR180641 BEEF #4 (OF 5) (MR) $3.99 MAR180786 BLACK PANTHER #1 $4.99
Weird comic book week, at least from my perspective. The first two I included because the issue numbers were relatively high. The third I've listed because I forgot about the serialization of this series am pretty sure I'm not the only one. Haven't seen a lot of the artist-focuse series that DC announced recently get additional printing attention, although I'll admit that's the first think I look for. I'm enjoying this new Shaky Kane book although probably a little bit less than some of these. Black Panther I assume will be a cornerstone of Marvel's soft reboot, but I'm hearing so little about those efforts I wonder to what effect.
MAR181862 WINNER GN $18.00
This is Karl Stevens' effort from the Retrofit crowd-funder, and probably the most affecting thing he's done. There's a slight scatter of narratives here, as befits a book about making choices between media: the media used often make Stevens' choice for him, and that may become as he gets older and factors other than a desire to do a certain kind of work may weigh in with a vote. It's perhaps the best book on third-step ennui from any modern cartoonist, with so much of what Stevens feels coming out in the drawings themselves.
FEB180484 JOHNNY BOO HC VOL 08 $9.99
Volume eight! James Kochalka is almost too prolific for the bookstore-market era.
NOV178660 MIKE ALLRED ARTIST SELECT HC $125.00
I don't know that I've looked at a lot of Mike Allred separate from more direct narrative demands, and it might be an excellent way to enjoy that work.
MAR181861 TROUBLEMAKERS (MR) $20.00
I don't know much about Baron Yoshimoto but the quality of the drawing makes me feel that I've missed out.
JAN181661 LOVE & ROCKETS MAGAZINE #5 $4.99
Here's the one that will actually get me into the store this week. Jaime stepped back from his issues #1-3 narrative for an issue, so I'm stuck wondering what's next. That's a great place to be 30-plus years in with an author.
The full list of this week's releases, including some titles with multiple cover variations and a long, impressive list of toys and other stuff that isn't comics, can be found here. Despite this official list there's no guarantee a comic will show up in the stores as promised, or in all of the stores as opposed to just a few. Also, stores choose what they carry and don't carry so your shop may not carry a specific publication. There are a lot of comics out there.
To find your local comic book store, check this list; and for one I can personally recommend because I've shopped there, albeit a while back, try this.
The above titles are listed with their Diamond order code in the first field, which may assist you in finding comics at your shop or having them order something for you they don't have in-stock. Ordering through a direct market shop can be a frustrating experience, so if you have a direct line to something -- you know another shop has it, you know a bookstore has it -- I'd urge you to consider all of your options.
If I failed to list your comic, that's because I hate you.
* the "Who's Alan Moore?" part of this open letter is hilarious in a punch yourself into unconsciousness at the way art is treated kind of way. Which I guess is its intention, after a second read. Hm. If they had just waited another ten years people would have split with the material more fully and an adaptation wouldn't have seemed such a gold mine -- let alone multiple adaptations. I'm just going to be shitty and weird about this particular thing for the rest of my life, so apologies in advance. We've reached the point where I'm pretty sure people think they're improving on what for all its faults is a wholly realized expression of personal belief about art and politics. The idea of fixing art is always worthy of contempt. A potential Stoppardian take, even projected as good, doesn't seem to change the original, unnecessary treatment of the writer.
Congratulations to Art Spiegelman on news that he will receive the Edward MacDowell Medal during a ceremony in mid-August at the MacDowell Colony. The award is named by an assembled committee of same-discipline and related-interest peers: Alison Bechdel chaired a group that included Gene Yang, Hillary Chute and James Sturm.
An impressive list of past winners include Aaron Copland, Robert Frost, Georgia O'Keefe and David Lynch. All are awarded for an outstanding contribution to American culture. Spiegelman will be the 59th recipient. More information as available here.
Here. The interesting things about Brown having one are 1) he's in the middle of a strong run with published work, 2) he hasn't had the same success with this platform despite that high profile -- at least not yet -- and 3) he's serializing his first graphic novel as an incentive.
There was a point at which I wondered if Patreons would become ubiquitous and while we're not there yet and there have been periods where they seem to have fallen out of favor we seem to be getting closer.
* no better news possible than that from Katie Skelly and Fantagraphics late last week, that there's a date and format and all the publishing stuff in place for a real-world version of an occasionally whispered collection of the artist's erotic comics, with the excellent name The Agency. That is some of the best material from a very talented and vital cartoonist. That the material is going to be in color is a dream come true for Skelly fans, of which I am one.
* here is sensible-sounding advice from Steve Lieber on how to do portfolio reviews and art critiques. This may be especially helpful for dopes like me who get dragged into doing this and are completely unqualified to build a structure around which to do so.